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Wednesday, 22 December, 1999, 11:17 GMT
Arnie settles $50m libel case

Schwarzenegger wil donate his undisclosed damages to charity

Hollywood superstar Arnold Schwarzenegger has settled his $50m (31m) libel case against a US newspaper over an article which claimed the actor was in constant danger of having a heart attack.

Under the terms of the settlement, the Globe has to donate an undisclosed amount to Schwarzenegger's charity, the Inner City Games Foundation.

It has also to admit that the story it printed in 1998 - which described the actor's heart as a "ticking time bomb" - was wrong and publish a retraction, correction and apology.

The 52-year-old Terminator star said he felt "vindicated" and "well-satisfied" with the agreed arrangement.

He added: "Most importantly, I am pleased that the Globe has finally acknowledged its mistake and is willing to set the record straight that I am in excellent health."

'Time bomb' heart

Former bodybuilder Schwarzenegger was prompted to sue the Globe after the story appeared in August 1998, 16 months after he had undergone successful heart surgery.

Schwarzenegger alleged that the article defamed him by saying his heart was a "ticking time bomb in his chest" and that he was "living in fear that ... his heart will suddenly quit".

Schwarzenegger stars with Gabriel Byrne in End Of Days
He said it appeared at a time when he was in excellent health and after doctors had pronounced him fit and able to resume his active life.

The Austrian-born actor expressed his hope that the outcome of his legal action would set new standards in newspaper reporting.

"Hopefully, my vigorous prosecution of this case will preclude other tabloids from publishing false stories about celebrities," he said.

Lawyers for the Globe - which was bought in November by American Media, publisher of the National Enquirer - issued a brief statement through Schwarzenegger's lawyers saying: "The former owners of Globe admitted that they made a mistake and apologised."

Litigious past

Schwarzenegger, who is currently starring in the millennial thriller End Of Days, has a history of challenging those who voice doubts over his state of health.

Earlier this month the former Mr Universe won $10,500 (6,564) in damages from a German heart specialist and sports doctor.

Schwarzenegger took action against Dr Willi Heepe after he predicted that the star did not have long to live, during a radio discussion about the connection between anabolic steroids and heart disease

The actor, who had a defective heart valve repaired during his 1997 operation, has admitted using drugs in support of his body-building.

End Of Days marks his return to the big screen after a two-year break and he is also said be planning three more films next year.

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See also:
01 Dec 99 |  Entertainment
Arnie wins 'diagnosis' damages
04 Sep 98 |  Roundup
Arnie files $50m libel lawsuit
02 Dec 99 |  Entertainment
Action star Arnie's back

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